When an active shooting situation begins, a company in Muscatine is working to make sure students and teachers have a level of protection.
Fighting Chance Solutions sells a metal device designed to lock the door closing arm from inside the classroom.
Since starting in 2014, they’ve sold tens of thousands of the devices in all 50 states, but Thursday has been especially busy.
For President and CEO of Fighting Chance Solutions Daniel Nietzel, the calls and emails just keep coming.
Daniel Nietzel said, “We’re getting anything from colleges to major corporations to just concerned parents.”
The former teacher says with this latest shooting, their small office in Muscatine sees traffic on a scale the business hasn’t faced in the past.
It’s all about a small but sturdy metal device to help protect students and teachers when these unthinkable events happen.
Nietzel said, “Slides on in a second, and then if you need to egress, get out really quickly, it comes off in a second too, get your kids out.”
Nietzel and other educators developed the Sleeve after taking part in active shooter training.
“They talked about wrapping cords and belts around a door closer, which I was like that sounds very ingenious, I like that you know use what you’ve got, survive protect your kids, but we did it, and it just wasn’t effective,” Nietzel said.
That got them thinking there was a better way to protect kids inside the classroom.
Nietzel said, “To take that concept, make it so it’s more effective, so it’s stronger and you can do it in a second or two, and that’s where we started playing around with the sleeve, and that’s where the idea really took shape.”
He says it also puts teachers at risk when they need to lock the door because it usually means going out into the hall.
For Nietzel, what they’ve created and the business it’s turned into is sometimes a double-edged sword knowing it is good to have that source of protection but also the fact it needs to exist at all.
Nietzel said, “There are times where I just have to counsel myself, talk to my wife and have them remind us why we’re doing this.”
He says when these shootings happen, he knows more calls will come.
Nietzel said, “You become intimately involved in these incidents where you want to or not, and that’s a really dark place to be sometimes.”
Nietzel says another step teachers can take is to have a bookshelf by the door, they can quickly push in front as part of a barricade.
He also advises teachers to get wasps spray at an attacker as a last defense.